Bulletin no. 70 (December 2023)

Monthly talks

Our monthly talks featuring an invited speaker are held on the second Thursday of the month at Hornsey Moravian Church, Priory Road, London N8 7HR.

We start at 10.30am with u3a notices, followed by our invited speaker. We finish at 12 noon. Tea and coffee are available from 10am. Members are asked to bring their own cup or mug.

Advance registration is required. Further information and registration details for our monthly talks are here.

Thursday 14 December 2023. 10.30am. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served after the talk

Andrew Lycett: Conan Doyle: The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes

Biographer, author and broadcaster Andrew Lycett will talk about the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and the creation of the world’s greatest fictional detective. Copies of Andrew’s new book, The Worlds of Sherlock Holmes: the Inspiration Behind the World’s Greatest Detective, will be on sale at the talk at the discounted price of £20 (cash/cheque).

Thursday 11 January 2024. 10.30am

Iwan Morgan: FDR – America’s Greatest President

CEDu3a member Professor Iwan Morgan will explore why Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States (1933-45), merits remembrance as America’s greatest president. Copies of Professor Morgan’s latest book FDR: Transforming the Presidency and Renewing America will be available for sale at the talk.

Thursday 8 February 2024. 10.30am

Tim Craven: Trees in British art history from Thomas Gainsborough to The Arborealists

Tim Craven, curator, artist and founder of The Arborealists, will discuss the role and importance of trees in British art from Gainsborough onwards.

From speakers organiser Liz Sich: The 2024 monthly talks schedule is already pretty full but I’d like to programme some popular science in May. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please do send them through to speakers@cedu3a.org.uk

New buddy scheme for monthly talks

From January 2024 we plan to trial a buddy scheme for our monthly talks. Members who would appreciate a personal welcome on arrival and company during the meeting should email Sarah Timms via sarah@cedu3a.org.uk. Sarah will then ensure that the volunteers taking names at the door refer these members to her on arrival. From January a note will be included on Eventbrite saying that the scheme is on offer. Reminders regarding the scheme will also be sent to registered participants a week or so before the meeting. We will review the uptake regularly and may extend it to our social events if appropriate

Coffee mornings

Coffee mornings, which take place in members’ homes on varying days of the week, are a great way of getting to know other members. New members are particularly welcome. The December morning – Tuesday 12 December – is currently fully booked, but you are welcome to go on the waiting list. The first two planned for 2024 will be in Crouch End on Tuesday 16 January and Thursday 14 March: hosts are needed for February and the rest of 2024. To book for January or March, go on the waiting list for December, or offer to host in 2024 contact Jacki Reason here

Monday pub lunches

The December pub lunch will be held in the Mossy Well pub in Muswell Hill as usual at 1pm on Monday 4 December 2023. Email johnwray99@hotmail.com by Friday 1 December so John has some idea of numbers. Pub lunches are an opportunity for members to meet and chat in an informal and social atmosphere (paying for their own food and drink). Please note the next pub lunch after that will be on Monday 8 January 2024 to avoid the Bank Holiday

Annual General Meeting 2024

Our 6th CEDu3a Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Thursday 18 April 2024 at 12.00 at Hornsey Moravian Church, immediately after the monthly talk. So do put it in your diary.This is your opportunity to elect up to three new trustees and to approve the re-election of five of the current trustees, for a period of one year only, who have reached the end of their current tenure. New trustee nomination papers will be sent out to all members in early January

Interest group updates

Group pages on the website

In order to provide members with accurate information, the group pages on the CEDu3a website have been checked and where necessary amended. The vast majority of entries should now reflect the current situation. Thanks go to our conveners for providing the information required and to our web manager for the time spent on editing

Writing groups
Reflections and Echoes 3 – the Writing Groups’ third collection of short stories – will be on sale at the monthly meeting on Thursday 14 December. The book contains several pieces from 14 members of the three groups. All proceeds from the book will go to three food banks in Haringey. We ask for a minimum donation of ÂŁ5. Please bring cash or proof of online donation to Hornsey Foodbank, and/or Bounds Green Foodbank, and/or Muswell Hill Foodbank. Please give some serious thought to buying one or more – it’s a good read being sold for a good cause and makes a good Christmas present

Membership renewal

From the Membership Secretary

Our subscription year lasts from January to the end of December. The 2024 subscription fee will remain at ÂŁ30, or ÂŁ5 concessionary. Traditionally we have allowed renewals in the preceding December but because of personnel issues in the Membership Department we are going to delay this renewal for one month

Effectively this means that we will only ask you to renew your subscription at the beginning of January 2024. You will be notified by a personal email of when the renewal year opens, which is expected to be the first weekend after the holidays. As usual you will be able to renew online, where you can pay by credit or debit card or a PayPal account, or you can use a bank transfer/send a cheque to the membership secretary.

For those of you who traditionally renew your membership by either bank transfer or cheque there will be very little change in the arrangements. However if you normally carry out your renewal online there will be an extra procedure that you will have to carry out before you can renew. This is because the u3a Beacon system has changed over to using password authentication for personal accounts. Full details of how to change your log on to the u3a Beacon system to use a password will be included in the email that will be sent to you

As usual if you have any queries in renewing your subscription then please get in touch with the membership secretary by email, text or phone. There will be full details in the email sent to you


Our CEDu3a Facebook group continues to flourish and we were pleased to see recently new posts from the Knit and Chat, Photography and Gardening groups alongside familiar walking and crafts favourites. But our aim is to get input from as many groups as possible and to use Facebook in the most effective way we can. To this end the Publicity group will shortly be discussing ways forward and would welcome comments and suggestions from our members. Have your say by emailing facebook@cedu3a.org.uk

London region of u3as online talk programme

The January to March online talks programme will consist of one talk per month on the following Mondays at 5.30pm:

8 January – Neville Lyons: Food for Thought
5 February – Herbie Goldberg: Louis Moreau Gottschalk
4 March – Terry Lloyd: The Shaping of Eastern Europe

For further information about these talks, please see the Events page of the London Region website

Free and discounted tickets for Christmas Concerts

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, Brandenburg are once again offering a limited number of free and discounted tickets for their Christmas concerts to u3a members and their friends. There are four traditional Christmas concerts with the Brandenburg Singers taking place at St Margaret Patten’s Church in the City of London on:

Friday 15 December 2023 at 2pm and 5.30pm
Saturday 16 December 2023 at 2pm and 5.30pm

The Messiah with the Brandenburg Festival Chorus will be held at Holy Sepulchre, Holborn on:

Wednesday 27 December at 6.30pm (Includes festive refreshments)

For full details and to obtain discount tickets, go to our website here. There are two discount codes:

The code BETTY100 is for free ticket
The code BETTY50 is for half price tickets

Members’ posts

If any members have u3a-related info or news items they would like to share with other members please send details to bulletin@cedu3a.org.uk. The deadline is normally the 24th of each month, but for the January bulletin the deadline will be 20 December.

From Sue Loder:
Please come along to my exhibition Paint .. Glass .. Stitch, works by Sue Loder, Beryl Ayella and Alison Sandifer at Art@111, at 111 Highbury Park, N5 1UB from 8 – 17 December, 12.00 – 6.00pm daily. Members are welcome to attend the private view on Friday 8 December from 6.30 – 8.30pm.

From Anne Hutchings:
Several u3a members sing in the Fortismere Community Choir, so we would love you to come and support us at our Christmas concert on Saturday 9 December at 7pm, at St Andrew’s Church, Alexandra Park Road, N10 2DD, with orchestra and professional soloists:
Zelenka Missa dei Fili
Christmas carols for audience and choir
Tickets ÂŁ12 in advance (ÂŁ15 on the door) from: https://www.fortismeremusiccentre.co.uk/events/fortismere-community-choir-christmas-concert